Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Marshall, Thomas (1621-1685)

MARSHALL, THOMAS (1621–1685), dean of Gloucester, son of Thomas Marshall, was born at Barkby in Leicestershire, and baptised there on 9 Jan. 1620-1. He was educated first under Francis Foe, vicar of Barkby, matriculated at Oxford on 23 Oct. 1640, as a batler of Lincoln College, and was Traps scholar from 31 July 1641 till 1648. Towards the close of the following year, Oxford being garrisoned for the king, Marshall served in the regiment of Henry, earl of Dover, at his own expense; in consideration he was excused all fees when graduating B.A. on 9 July 1645. On the approach of a parliamentary visitation in 1647 Marshall quitted the university and went abroad. On 14 July 1648 he was expelled for absence by the visitors. Proceeding to Rotterdam, he became preacher to the company of merchant adventurers in that city at the end of 1650. In 1656, on the removal of the merchants to Dort, he accompanied them and remained there for sixteen years. On 1 July 1661 he graduated B.D. at Oxford.

Marshall was an enthusiastic student of Anglo-Saxon and Gothic. The excellence of his 'Observations' on Anglo-Saxon and Gothic versions of the gospel, which he published in 1665, led to his unsolicited election to a fellowship of Lincoln College on 17 Dec. 1668. He proceeded D.D. on 28 June of the following year, and was chosen Rector of his college on 19 Oct. 1672. Soon after he was made chaplain in ordinary to the king. He was rector of Bladon, near Woodstock, from May 1680 to February 1682, and was installed dean of Gloucester on 30 April 1681 In 1681 and 1684 he was one of the delegates for the chancellor of the university, James, duke of Ormonde, who was absent in Ireland.

Marshall died suddenly in Lincoln College, about 11 p.m., on Easter Eve, 18 April 1685, and was as buried in the chancel of All Saints' Church, Oxford. A memorial stone in the floor, with a Latin inscription, marks the spot. His portrait is in the hall of Lincoln College, and an engraved representation of him was on the title-page of the 'Oxford Almanack' for 1743. He left the residue of his estate to Lincoln College, for the maintenance of poor scholars. 'Marshall's scholars' were regularly elected from 1688 to 1765, when the scholarships ceased to be distinctively designated.

Marshall is said to have been a good preacher, but his fame rests on his philological learning, especially in early Teutonic languages, and the interest in them which he contrived to excite in the university. Franciscus Junius, from whom he had formerly received instruction, removed to Oxford in 1676, and lived opposite to Lincoln College, in order to be near him. He bequeathed many books and manuscripts to the public library of the university, which are still kept together. The manuscripts include several of his own composition—grammars and lexicons of the Coptic, Arabic, Gothic, and Saxon tongues. His bequests to Lincoln College Library include his collection of pamphlets, 'mostly concerning the late troubles in England.' His Socinian books were left to John Kettlewell [q. v.], whom he made his executor, and 20l. to Abigail Foe, widow of Francis Foe, his much honoured school-master. A manuscript 'Collationes Psalteriorum Graec.,' by him, is preserved in the Bodleian Library (Auct. D. 3, 18). Many letters of his to Samuel Clarke of Merton College are in the British Museum (Addit. MSS. 4276, 22905). Other letters to Sheldon and Sancroft are among the Tanner MSS. in the Bodleian. A copy of his will is in 'Registrum Medium' of Lincoln Coll. ff. 216-17.

Besides his 'Observationes in Evangeliorum Versiones perantiquas duas, Gothicas scil. et Anglo-Saxonicas' (Dort, 1665; Amsterdam, 1684), he published anonymously 'The Catechism set forth in the Book of Common Prayer,' Oxford, 1679, 1680, 1700. To the later editions was added 'An Essay of Questions and Answers,' also by Marshall. The work (which is small) was translated into Welsh by John Williams of Jesus College, Cambridge, and published at Oxford in 1682. He edited J. Abudacnus's 'Historia Jacubitarum seu Coptorum, in Egypto,' Oxford, 1675, 4to, and wrote a prefatory epistle to Thomas Hyde's translation of the Gospels and Acts into the Malayan tongue, Oxford, 1677. He also assisted in the compilation of Parr's 'Life of Archbishop Ussher' (published the year after Marshall's death), for whom he had entertained a great admiration from his student days.

Another Thomas Marshall published three sermons under the title of 'The King's Censure upon Recusants,' London, 1654. The two are confused by Watt.

[Wood's Athenæ (Bliss), vol. iv. cols. 170–2, vol. iii. col. 1141; Wood's Fasti (Bliss), vol. ii. cols. 78, 254, 310; Foster's Alumni i, 1500–1714; Burrows's Reg. of Visitors of Univ. of Oxford, pp. 165, 507; Steven's Hist. of the Scottish Church in Rotterdam, pp. 300–1, 325–6; Balen's Beschryvinge der Stad Dordrecht, pp. 194–5; Le Neve's Fasti (Hardy), i. 444, iii. 558; Wood's Colleges and Halls (Gutch), App., pp. 149–50; Clark's Life and Times of Antony Wood (Oxford Hist. Soc.), p. 316; Nichols's Leicestershire, iii. 46, 48, 50; Memoirs of Kettlewell, pp. 32–3, 125–6; Macray's Annals of the Bodleian Library, pp. 129, 154; Bernard's Cat. Libr. MSS. Angliæ, i. 272, 373–4; information from the Rev. Andrew Clark of Lincoln College.]

B. P.